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Russia

Bolshoi Ballet’s Sergei Filin heads to Germany for treatment

Russia's Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin is headed to Germany for further treatment after he suffered serious eye damage in an acid attack. Filin has linked the attack to his work at the theater.

Sergei Filin left a Moscow hospital Monday morning to fly to Germany, where he was to receive his first medical examination later in the day.

"I feel good, I would even say excellent. If only my eyes saw a bit better," Filin told journalists outside the hospital. He described his vision as "foggy and blurred."

On January 17, a masked attacker threw sulphuric acid at Filin's face outside his apartment in Moscow. Since then he has undergone five operations on his eyes.

The Russian health ministry said the 42-year-old Filin would fly to the western German city of Aachen for an extended treatment and rehabilitation period.

Video: Bolshoi Ballet chief heads to Germany

Filin was a star dancer before becoming the ballet troupe's artistic director in 2011. Prior to the attack, Filin had reported a campaign of harassment that included having his email hacked and his car tires slashed. Theater in-fighting has plagued the Bolshoi Ballet throughout much of the company's history, which spans over 200 years.

In an interview broadcast on Russian television late on Sunday, Filin said he believed he knew who was behind the attack but was waiting for the results of the investigation.

"Every person has an organ called a heart, and my heart knows who did it, and in my soul I have an answer to that question."

hc/pfd (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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